November 6th, 2008
12:25 PM ET
5 years ago

Lieberman meeting with Reid this afternoon

Lieberman was a strong supporter of John McCain’s presidential bid.
Lieberman was a strong supporter of John McCain’s presidential bid.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Democrat turned independent who backed Republican Sen. John McCain for president, will meet at 1 p.m. Thursday with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to discuss Lieberman’s future with the Democratic caucus, according to two congressional sources familiar with the matter.

At stake is Lieberman’s chairmanship of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and possibly his other committee assignments. Reid could also ask Lieberman to leave the Democratic caucus altogether.

Lieberman’s support of McCain – and harshly critical words of President-elect Barack Obama during the campaign - angered many Senate Democrats but Reid was reluctant to act against the Connecticut senator earlier because Democratic control of the Senate relied on Lieberman’s decision to organize with the Democrats.

But after picking up multiple Democratic seats on Election Day, Reid is politically empowered to strip Lieberman of the coveted chairmanship if he chooses. The full Democratic caucus would have to approve any action Reid takes when it meets on Capitol Hill in two weeks.

Democratic leadership aides would not say what Reid will do at the highly-anticipated meeting which is expected to take place in Reid’s leadership suite off the Senate floor. Reid has not been shy in the past about expressing his frustration with Lieberman who just eight years ago was the Democrats’ nominee for Vice President. But he’s also repeatedly said he values Lieberman’s membership in the caucus because on most issues Lieberman votes with the Democrats.


Filed under: Joe Lieberman
soundoff (322 Responses)
  1. Susan

    Joe was free to support whom ever, as Colin did:) Obama got the better deal!

    November 6, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  2. David in Illinois

    I too believe Lieberman should get the boot. It doesn't mean that the Dems don't believe in bipartisanship. Lieberman is still free to vote with the Dems or not. It's his choice. He also made the choice to try to derail Obama's bid for the presidency. It's not retribution. It's just that Joe has made his decision fairly clear where he stands.... and he can't be a chairman.
    Are there really PUMA people still around? Because the party, did indeed, look extremely unified even to a casual observer. PUMA naysayers were marginalized. They're still bitter.... too bad.

    November 6, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  3. jrzshor

    let me guess at that conversation. Dear joe, as the party of the minority people and as the party that will reach across the isle to republicans, and as the party that promises change, get lost.

    November 6, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  4. Ethan

    Maybe he can be the Republican Senate Minority Whiner In Chief. Get him out of the Dem caucus, get him out of any chairmanships, especially Homeland Security. Mmmbuh-bye.

    November 6, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  5. Joe Avery

    Those who defend Lieberman through the freedom of speech angle are mixing apples with bananas.

    Lieberman can say whatever he want under the protection of law. But the question here is whether he should be awarded with a chairmenship, ahead of many other loyal, worthy democrates. I hope not.

    November 6, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  6. Carlo

    Well my personal feeling are that Liberman should be out, to put it mildly. This man offered president bush, and then mccain strong support undermining the best interests of our nations let along his own political party.

    That said, obviously this is a decision shouldn't be made quickly, or taken lightly. The Democratic caucus has a powerful majority and mandate, for now. We don't know if congress will swing back in another couple years, and frankly the democrats hardly have a fillabuster proof position. Every vote still counts, so perhaps from a practical perspective it might be a good idea to keep him on.

    But honestly, lately I've seen liberman as not serving america's best interests. So I don't know... If I was Reid I'd be very tempted on principal to kick him out of the Democratic caucus.

    November 6, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  7. BM

    Who cares about diversity ? If someone can do the job, it doesn't matter if they are all white. As Obma said, we are one America. He doesn't owe Blacks anything because we help to put him into office. If there is a Black qualified, then oh well! I would love to see Colin Powell serve in his cabinet, but he doesn't want it. Black people need to chill!

    November 6, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  8. dizizi31

    Hey Joe the Independent!! The Democratic Caucus does not need you. They won the election without your help why would they even consider anything coming out of your mouth as valid. The Republicans are saying Obama won because the economy was bad. Truth of the matter, Obama ran an excellent campaign and they're too proud to admit it. So why are you not palling around with McCain today?

    November 6, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  9. Chris, Michigan

    I would welcome different opinions and ideas. Except Lieberman lies when it could advance him politically. He does not deserve respect.

    November 6, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  10. Mark Texas

    I believe most of the reason Lieberman supported Mccain, he did it out of friendship for McCain. That is admirable and bi-partisian.
    However seeing him nodding and smiling at McCain campaign events, when Mccain was speaking negatively about issues that Lieberman supports, causes me concern. Strip him of Chairmanship but not the Demo causcus.
    It is a time for healing not revenge.. America needs us all

    November 6, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  11. pam Eugene OR

    Leiberman needs to be thrown out of the Democratic cacaus. He is not even an Independant

    November 6, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  12. Elouise

    I don't think you should get rid of him. I think he is a good man. He can still do a lot of good for his party. Keep him!!!

    November 6, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  13. Carlo

    Well my personal feeling are that Liberman should be out, to put it mildly. This man offered president bush, and then mccain strong support undermining the best interests of our nations let along his own political party.

    That said, obviously this is a decision shouldn't be made quickly, or taken lightly. The Democratic caucus has a powerful majority and mandate, for now. We don't know if congress will swing back in another couple years, and frankly the democrats hardly have a fillabuster proof position. Every vote still counts, so perhaps from a practical perspective it might be a good idea to keep him on.

    But honestly, lately I've seen liberman as not serving america's best interests. So I don't know... If I was Reid I'd be very tempted on principal to kick him out of the Democratic caucus.

    November 6, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  14. Mary, Dallas, Texas

    It appears that the PUMAs are speaking up for Lieberman but are trying to ensure that Richardson will not get a position in Obama cabinet. You are such hypocrits.

    November 6, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  15. bj

    The amount of vile name calling and pure hatred being spewed in the blog by the Obama supporters is really sickening. It shows a complete lack of maturity. The Democrats won, and everyone accepts that, but stop with the childish name calling. It looks like a bunch of fifth graders elected Obama.
    (The Dems won, now it's their turn to completely finish off the economy)
    It's a sad state that we don't have a viable third party in this country, because I want no part of either the Democrats or Republicans.

    November 6, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  16. Nick in Chicago

    People who are saying that this is an issue of bi-partisanship, and freedom of speech are a little off base. This is an issue of the Senate Democrats. Joe showed that he wasn't a Democrat when he lost the nominee of his party 2 years ago, and ran anyway as an independent. The Senate Democrats needed Joe 2 years ago to have a majority, they don't need him anymore. I think the person who said to allow him to continue to caucus with the Democrats, but strip him of his chairmanships had a good idea. Especially the foreign relations committee, because he does not represent what the Democrats want on most foreign policy issues. I am a Democrat. Part of me wants to see this guy thrown out for the nasty things he has said about Democrats, but I also see the value of extending the olive branch.

    November 6, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  17. Carlo

    Well my personal feeling are that Liberman should be out, to put it mildly. This man offered president bush, and then mccain strong support undermining the best interests of our nations let along his own political party.

    That said, obviously this is a decision shouldn't be made quickly, or taken lightly. The Democratic caucus has a powerful majority and mandate, for now. We don't know if congress will swing back in another couple years, and frankly the democrats hardly have a fillabuster proof position. Every vote still counts, so perhaps from a practical perspective it might be a good idea to keep him on.

    But honestly, lately I've seen liberman as not serving america's best interests. So I don't know... If I was Reid I'd be very tempted on principal to kick him out of the Democratic caucus.

    November 6, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  18. Betty

    All of you are a bunch of Hypricrates. Joe is great senator, just because he did not agree with your choice for President. This is a America. Yesterday everybody was pushing Unity down the Republicans throats. Then you want Joe removed. Democrates will never change and that is why we have no unity in America.

    November 6, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  19. Joe Fox

    I believe that Joe Lieberman should be replaced as leader of his committes and expelled from the Democratic caucus. If he wants to vote independantly let him be indepedant. Maybe he should talk to Zell Miller and do lunch.
    Joe from Georgia

    November 6, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  20. Realist

    Mr. Lieberman is not a Democrat. If he were a Democrat and felt at odds with either the Democratic party platform or its standard bearer, a man of honor would have remained silent and done no harm. He did not do that. Giving him the benefit of the doubt that he is honorable (a leap to be sure), he has shown that is not a Democrat and does not wish the Democratic platform to suceed. Thus, it is not retrobution or vengence to ask Mr. Lieberman, as a member of the honorable oposition, to relinquish his chair and any other positions of authority he may have possessed when he was a Democrat. He has show that he is oposed to the adgend set by the Democratic party, how could he possibly be trusted to implement its policies. Whether he chooses to vote for legislation supported by the Democrats is up to him. The Democrats should, of course, welcome his support and should reach out to him whenever possible.

    November 6, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  21. A Woman In California For Obama

    Please Sen. Reid get rid of this traitor. He was completely nasty at the RNC and should they have won-he would have been all over McCain. We don't want or need him. Good riddance!

    November 6, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  22. Catholic-mom-4-OBAMA

    LIEberman, needs to retire! The man is a fraud, a liar and a traitor. You are free to support whom you please. BUT when you were a former VP candidate in the Democratic party with Al Gore, and then when the Neo-cons-Bushies come into power...... you suddenly SWITCH sides, you need to retire quietly and save some of the little 'face' you have left!

    Joe LIEberman, go away quietly into the sunset, and be quiet.

    November 6, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  23. Sandra

    I am an independent that leans Democrat, but if I were a Democrat, I would be upset with Joe Lieberman as well. Does that means he should be kicked out of the caucus? I think not- keeping him in would send a strong message that the Democrats are willing to overlook his remarks and thus shows that they are willing to work in a bi-partisan manner. If the Democrats were smart they would make Joe Lieberman and John McCain important voices in the Senate to help bridge divides. Democrats need to govern to the middle- if they don't, they risk losing control of the House and Senate in two years. Compromise and bipartisanship are key. Let's try to reach across the aisle- it's what the country needs.

    November 6, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  24. Steven

    There is a difference between reaching accross the aisle and backstabbing. Lieberman needs to go because he is a backstabber, period. Let us not forget this is a guy that Obama actually helped and what did Lieberman do?

    Thanks but no thanks Lieberman.

    November 6, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  25. John

    Make traitor Joe pay!!!!!!!

    November 6, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
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